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OSTIblog Articles in the Science Communications Topic

Faster than the speed of light? Or an anomaly?

by Kate Bannan 27 Sep, 2011 in Science Communications
Albert Einstein in 1921

According to Einstein's theory of relativity, it is not possible for matter to travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum.  The speed of light (186,282 miles per second) has long been considered a cosmic speed limit, and much of modern physics is based on Einstein's work. Now there is a possibility that Einstein was wrong -- and physics may have to rethink the concept of matter and energy.


The science world was surprised when workers at CERN, the world's largest physics lab, recently announced that they had recorded subatomic particles travelling faster than the speed of light.  If their findings are proven to be correct, they would overturn one of the pillars of the Standard Model of physics, which attempts to explain the way the universe and everything within it works. 

Related Topics: biological sciences, neutrinos, physics, Science Accelerator, ScienceCinema, speed of light, WorldWideScience.org (WWS)

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DOE’s Solar Decathlon – Building the Future

by Kate Bannan 26 Sep, 2011 in Science Communications
U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

The Solar Decathlon is being held September 23–October 2, 2011, at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, DC. The event is free and open to the public.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon  challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

Related Topics: biomass, collegiate, decathlon, DOE Green Energy, energy, geothermal, green, hydro, power, solar, synthetic fuels, wave, wind

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Remembering September 11

by Kate Bannan 08 Sep, 2011 in Science Communications
September 11 memorial pin

On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 hijackers took control of four commercial airliners en route to San Francisco and Los Angeles after takeoff from Boston, Newark and Washington, DC.  Many of us will always remember where we were and what we were doing that Tuesday morning in what turned out to be the worst attack on American soil that claimed the lives of 2,977 innocent victims

Related Topics: 9/11, anti-terrorism, security, September 11, terror, threat

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80 Years of Excellence in Science

by Kate Bannan 01 Sep, 2011 in Science Communications

Congratulations to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory(Berkeley Lab) as they celebrated their 80th anniversary on August 26. 

Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratorysystem supported by the U.S. Department of Energythrough its Office of Science.  Berkeley Lab is an incubator for ideas, innovations and products that help society and explain how the universe works;  Their unclassified research portfolio includes renewable energy sources such as biofuels and artificial photosynthesis; energy efficiency at home, at work, and around the world; the ability to observe, probe, and assemble materials atom by atom; climate change research, environmental science and the growing connections between them; the chemistry and physics of matter and force in the universe — from the infinite to the infinitesimal; computational science and advanced networking to enable discovery and remote collaborations; and biological sciences for human health and energy research.

Related Topics: Berkeley, Nobel Prize, Office of Science

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Shake Rattle and Roll! The Science of Earthquakes

by Kate Bannan 25 Aug, 2011 in Science Communications

A rare, powerful 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook the East Coast United States on August 23. Damage was light, but millions of people were surprised and unnerved by the event. The earthquake occurred near Mineral, Virginia, about 100 miles southwest of Washington, DC. It was a shallow earthquake, and shaking was recorded all along the Appalachians, from Georgia to New England.  There have been several aftershocks and more are expected.

An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth'scrustthat creates seismic waves.  It is estimated that around 500,000 earthquakes occur each year, detectable with current instrumentation. About 100,000 of these can be felt.  Earthquakes are caused mostly by rupture of geological faults, but also by other events such as volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear tests.

Related Topics: earthquake, USGS, WorldWideScience.org (WWS)

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The Web and Science: the First Twenty Years

by Kate Bannan 18 Aug, 2011 in Science Communications
Tim Berners-Lee

Twenty years ago this month, Tim Berners-Lee, ayoung scientist at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), worked on a better way to communicate and share research information stored on computers at the CERN facility. The result was a browser and editor that could enable information sharing through a common hypertext language. The result was the world’s very first website.  The project was started to allow high energy physicists to share data, news and documentation, and it quickly spread. Now, it touches nearly all aspects of our daily life.

Related Topics: cern, customized alerts, r&d results

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Managing the Department of Energy’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Project Information

by Lorrie Johnson 02 Aug, 2011 in Science Communications

OSTI’s mission is to collect, preserve, and disseminate DOE-sponsored R&D results emanating from research projects at DOE Laboratories and facilities and from grantees at universities and other institutions.  OSTI performs its mission through many avenues, one of which includes supporting its parent organization within DOE, the Office of Science (SC), and the research programs within SC.

Related Topics: biological sciences, biotechnology, environmental sciences, genomics, Office of Biological and Environmental Research (OBER) Abstracts Database

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TENNESSEE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY LAUDS OSTI

by Kate Bannan 30 Jun, 2011 in Science Communications

We are proud to note that OSTI was featured in the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry’ssummer issue of its newsletter, the Business Insider

The Chamber says that OSTI and our comprehensive services “…might be one of the most useful – and best kept secrets – in the federal government.”

Related Topics: mission, Science.gov, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, WorldWideScience.org (WWS)

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STIP Partnership Ensures DOE R&D Results Are Disseminated

by Sharon Jordan 16 Jun, 2011 in Science Communications
Sharon Jordan, OSTI Assistant Director, and John Kunze, California Digital Libra

Many posts could be written about the rich history of the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), which dates back to 1945 when Colonel K. D. Nichols announced plans for a complete and authoritative scientific record of all research work performed by Manhattan District contractors.  However, I want to focus on a specific slice of that history, one that is going strong and is well represented across the DOE complex.  I’m referring to DOE’s Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP, www.osti.gov/stip).

Related Topics: Manhattan Project, r&d, Scientific and Technical Information Program Website, sti, stip

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OSTI’s Committee of Visitors, An Update

by Dr. Jeffrey Salmon 23 May, 2011 in Science Communications

"The unexamined life is not worth living."  So says Plato's Socrates in the Apology.   His self-examination led to extreme humility (or to an extreme irony) when Socrates confessed to his accusers that the only knowledge he had was knowledge of his own ignorance.  No one we know of came away from a Socratic cross-examination in one piece, but they would at least have known their own limits.  And in knowing their limits, or their ignorance, they would somehow be better.

Related Topics: CoV, Digitize Legacy Collection, DOE STI, metrics, Scientific and Technical Information Program Website

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